By Derrick Kiplagat
Kenyan Muslims will celebrate Idd-ul-Fitr on Saturday, this is according to Chief Kadhi Ahmed Muhdhar. The Chief Kadhi made this announcement on Thursday evening in Mombasa after the crescent moon which signifies the end of the Holy month of Ramadhan, failed to appear as expected.
The Chief Kadhi alongside his committee members took several hours looking for the moon outside the Wakfu headquarters in Mombasa. But the crescent moon failed to appear as anticipated. The announcement made by Shikh Muhdhar corresponds with the Government gazette notice that declared Saturday 18th 2015 a public holiday.
The Sheikh was speaking to journalists after the Iftar (Breaking the fast) where he urged Muslims and other Kenyans to maintain calm and harmony.
“Idd celebrations will be marked on Saturday because we did not sight the moon and we have not received any communication from faithful in East Africa. Tanzania and Zanzibar have not sighted the moon either,” he said.
The Chief Kadhi has urged Muslims around the republic to chiefly rely on the physical sighting of the moon, as stipulated in the Islamic laws, to signal the start of Idd celebrations. “As committee, we have agreed that we are going to complete the 30th day of Ramadhan on Friday in contrast to those who want to mark the celebration tomorrow,” he said on Thursday evening.
The Sheikh earlier on Thursday had said that Kenyan Muslims were to celebrate Idd on Friday only if the Crescent moon was sighted in East Africa. “We have special networks in the whole East African region. That means we will begin celebrations if the moon is sighted locally only and not universally,” he added.
Muslims from other regions however, will celebrate on Friday together with those living in Malaysia and Saudi Arabia. The Sheikh during his press address, called on the government to tighten security during the celebrations.
Earlier this week, Mombasa County Commissioner Nelson Marwa had assured Muslims that security would be beefed up during the Idd celebrations.